The State of Governance Bangladesh 2013: Democracy, Party, Politics

The State of Governance 2013 is devoted to an issue which lies at the centre of the present political discourse in the country, i.e., the norms and practices of the two dominant political parties of Bangladesh and their impact on the development of political institutions and democracy in the country. There is considerable public frustration on the issue and it has lingered for nearly three decades. An analysis of this important concern, one which not only involves the present state of the country’s politics and society but also its future. The report analyzes the factors which have influenced political underdevelopment, the degree of democracy within the two parties and the gap between ‘intent’ and actual practice within the political parties, political violence, a growing nexus between parties and the private sector relating to party financing, and underrepresentation and ‘stereotyped’ roles of women in the parties. Together they point to the risks and threats to democracy in Bangladesh. This report is a timely contribution to the public debate on democratic consolidation in Bangladesh and is also intended as a contribution to the literature on the political development of Bangladesh. The analysis in the report relies both on primary survey data, conducted specifically for the report, as well as secondary data including information obtained from key informant interviews, and deploys both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The report concludes that the norms and practices of the two dominant political parties have severely constrained the establishment of modern, constitutional democracy; and, further, than their political conduct poses major risks to a reversal of the gains achieved through the democratic process so far.

Authors: Rahman, Ashikur; Chowdhury, Faiz Ahmed; Razzaque, Farhana; Stanislawski, Jens; Islam, M Shahidul; Rashid, Md Harun-Or; Hamid, Rubayet; Mannan, Sadiat; Zakaria, Sultan Mohammed; Aziz, Syeda Salina; Rahman, Sultan Hafeez; Mahmud, Minhaj; Hassan, Mirza; Khan, Niaz Ahmed; Akter, Marufa; Nazneen, Sohela; Ahmed, Kazi Niaz
Type: Report
Year: 2014